Target websites about specific topics

Just as your business caters for certain customers, your customers may be interested in certain topics. Topic targeting lets you place your AdWords ads on website pages about those topics, whether it's agriculture, music or something else entirely.

Topic targeting allows your ads to be eligible to appear on any pages on the Display Network that have content related to your selected topics. As content across the web changes over time, the pages on which your ads appear can change with it. To display your ads on those pages, simply select one or more topics that are relevant to your ads.


By targeting the "Autos & Vehicles" topic, for instance, you enable your ad to appear on any Display Network website or other placement that includes content about cars or other automotive themes. You can also select more precise subtopics, such as Trucks & SUVs, Commercial Vehicles or Motorcycles.

You can use topic targeting in combination with individual placements – which are pages or sites that you've chosen where you'd like your ad to show – and keyword targeting – which lets you choose the keywords that should trigger your ad to show.


You decide to target the placement and the topic Sports in the same ad group. In this situation, your ad will appear only on pages within that belong to the Sports topic.

Why target topics

  • You'd like to generate additional traffic or want to reach a broad audience quickly.
    For example, if you sell bicycles and know that your customers also like hiking and camping, you can try reaching a broader audience by selecting the Hiking and Camping sub-topic to show your ads on web pages about this topic.
  • You have a flexible or unrestricted campaign budget.
  • You'd like to ramp up your ad delivery quickly, or your CPA goal is moderately flexible.
  • You'd like to prevent your ads from appearing on pages about specific topics that aren't performing well or thaare unrelated to your business.


If you'd like to control where your ads appear on the Google Display Network, you're a brand-oriented advertiser or you have strict CPA goals and want to actively manage your budget, then we recommend using our other targeting options, such as keyword contextual targeting or placements targeting.

How much topic targeting costs

Pricing for targeting by topic works the same way as pricing for other placement-targeted ads. You select the maximum price that you're willing to pay each time that your ad appears, and the AdWords system will show your ad on pages on the Google Network with content about that topic where your bid can win a position. A popular topic may have thousands or even tens of thousands of pages where your ad could appear.

How to target topics

To target topics, you’ll need to use one of the following marketing objectives or campaign types:

"Display Network only" marketing objectives
  • See your ad
  • Visit your website
  • Buy on your website
  • Take an action on your website
  • Call your business
  • Visit your business
Campaign types
  • "Search & Display Networks – All features"
  • "Display Network only – All features"
  • "Display Network only – Remarketing"
  1. Sign in to your AdWords account at
  2. Click on the Campaigns tab at the top.
  3. Go to your Display Network tab and click on + Targeting, which is located above the graph.
  4. Select an ad group.
  5. Click on the "Add targeting" drop-down menu and select "Topics".
  6. Select as many topics and subtopics as you like by clicking on the double arrows » next to each one. Any topics and subtopics that you've added will appear in the "Selected topics" column.
  7. Click on Close, then Save.
Copy topics to another ad group

Once you've set up topics for one ad group, then you can copy your topics to other ad groups in Display Network-only campaigns. First you'll need to copy the topics that you want. Then you can paste them into a new ad group.

To copy your topics:

  • Click on the Display Network tab.
  • Click on the Topics tab.
  • Select the tick box next to the topics that you want to copy.
  • From the Edit menu, select Copy (or Control-C for PCs, Command-C for Macs).

To paste your copied topics:

  • Click on the Campaigns tab.
  • Click on the name of the campaign into which you want to paste your topics.
  • Tick the box next to the name of the ad group in which you want to paste your topics.
  • From the Edit menu, select Paste (or Control-V for PCs, Command-V for Macs).


  • When you target a top-level topic, you also target all the related sub-topics. However, we recommend adding the sub-topics for bidding and reporting control.
  • Adding all the sub-topics isn't the same as adding the top-level topic. There are pages that won't be targeted if you add only the sub-topics to your ad group. We recommend adding the top-level topic as well.
  • As you add topics to target, you'll see an estimate of your initial targeting reach. Bear in mind that this estimate doesn't take into account automated targeting methods or bid and budget settings.


Was this article helpful?
How can we improve it?